All the harvests were in, and the days were getting shorter and shorter as fall moved towards winter ... and Mum was throwing a party.
Mind you, it wasn't a party for any specific holiday, as it was too late for a Harvest feast, and mite too early for a proper Frostfell feast. It was more of an in-between sort of party, to catch friends and relatives, before they all scattered again for various major holiday commitments.
Besides, it gave her an excuse to bake a huge variety of yummy fattening foods, while ensuring there were enough folks around that there wouldn't be many leftovers taunting her afterwards.
She was just setting out more warm pies on one of the trestle tables loaded with food when she overheard two young cousins talking about Frostfell.
"... I heard that they were canceling it this year." Sarah's tone was smug. After all, she felt she was "too grown up" to get excited about Frostfell, even though she was a few years shy of being considered an adult by her fellow halflings, and she really loved lording it over some of her younger cousins.
"No way!" Walter's voice came out as a near-squeak, and his eyes seemed about ready to pop out of his head.
"Yes, way! Jimmy told me, and he got it from Harold, who heard it directly from one of the Gigglegibbers that works for McScroogle, so it must be true!"
One of the nearby younglings started to wail, and Mum opened her mouth to try to prevent a near-riot, only to be drowned out by Great-Uncle Rupert.
"BALDERDASH!" Bristlebane bless him, the old coot might be ancient, even by halfling standards, and half-deaf when he didn't want to hear something, but there was certainly nothing wrong with his hearing, or his lungs, today.
Taken aback, Sarah gaped like a landed fish, mouth opening and closing a couple times before she managed to spit out,"Huh?"
"Balderdash, I say, youngling! Flimflam! Baloney! Garbage! Bull sh-"
Quickly, Mum popped a tart into Great-Uncle Rupert's mouth before he could break out some of his more colorful vocabulary from his long-ago days as a sailor. "What he's trying tae say, lass, is that it is utter nonsense. Jus' a mean-spirited rumor. They'd ne'er cancel such a celebration - there'd be rioting in th' streets o' every major city!"
"But it is late, and -"
"Late? Pfft, where did ye get that idea? Last year th' celebrations started a week earlier than they had th' year before, an' we're a day shy o' that date now. Seems the doggone merchants are kicking things off earlier every year, so I'd nae be surprised if ..."
She paused as a bright red envelope slid out of the mail slot on her front door to land at her feet. "Och. Perfect timing." Mum scooped up the envelope, brandishing it in the air to display the McScroogle Corp return address. "Ye can be sure that if that skinflint McScroogle is spending money on holiday advertising, that th' celebrations are definitely not canceled!"
"Well?" She looked around at the crowd in her living room. "What are ye waiting for? Locals, hurry home, get warm winter clothes, lots o' empty bags, an' some automated shears, if ye have some. Out of town visitors, I hae some spares of all o' th' above in varying sizes, up in th' attic. Those of ye wishing tae explore th' Frostfell Village wi' me, meet out in front o' th' house in an hour."
It was a motley, and boisterous, parade that trooped from Niami's house on Bayle Court down to the clock down in Qeynos Harbor. Various guests split off as they were distracted by decorations, snowball fights and bright glittery lights, but even more friends, and yes, even total strangers, joined the crowd as they headed through town.
Once they had all crowded through the Magic Cabinet and entered the Frostfell Wonderland Village, Mum pulled her remaining houseguests off to one side. "Remember tae look around a bit afore ye spend any money. Some o' th' items are sold pre-made, other items can be crafted here within th' village. Ye'll also find a gift-giver down under that ginormous decorated tree that will gi' ye daily prezzies!"
With that, they scattered - some visiting the vendors, some making a beeline for the presents scattered around on the ground, others headed for the great tree.
After listening sympathetically to Gardy Ex-Giftgiver's tale of robbery, vandalism and woe, Mum quietly heaved a sigh of relief. While she knew the poor goblin meant well, there were only so many snowglobes one person needed, anyway, and she'd almost been dreading finding room to store more.
Thankfully, Santa Glug, who had taken over the gift-giving duties, seemed to have a lovely selection of gifts for everyone, and she cooed happily over her shiny silver bauble.
A short while later, as she was poring over the new recipe book, she was interrupted by the sound of a throat clearing behind her. Turning to peer up at the nattily-dressed dark elf standing there, she arched one red eyebrow at him. "Aye?"
"You're going to make some of these Frostfell ... things." He gestured towards the nearby crafting equipment.
"Aye, once I gather some supplies. Why?
"Good. Make me a few. Nothing too fancy, mind you. I just need something suitable for my servants, and I have better ways to spend my time, such as picking out the perfect tree. I'd rather throw a few silver at some ... crafter ... than deal with it myself." The curl of his lip as he said "crafter" made his disdain clear.
A snowball caught Niami full in the face, courtesy of one of her young nephews, before she could give the man a piece of her mind. By the time she had cleared the snow from her face, he was lost in the crowd.
"Rassenfrassen, hoity-toity snot elf. Better ways tae spend his time indeed! I hope his "perfect tree" dies an' has all th' needles fall off afore he e'en gets it home!"
Somewhere, Bristlebane snickered ... and granted her wish.
Above: quested (Qeynos) tree, sack of coal (possible daily Santa Clugg gift), Mum wearing the crafted candy-striped buckler and candy-striped staff, crafted mint buckler on the wall.
Ah, Frostfell, the traditional Norrathian mid-winter holiday!
Elves and grinches alike will find items and quests to excite and delight this Frostfell season! (And yes, even a dead tree might be in order, if you're the evil sort!) While you may see some of your old holiday favorites still around, expect some new offerings as well, including on the crafting front.
Imagine my stunned surprise this past weekend as not one person, but several people, including more than one in my guild, were heard stating that they'd been told that Frostfell in EQ2 had been canceled! Some of them were pretty upset about it, too.
I can happily state that it was just a nasty rumor. It has been on the Test server for a couple weeks, it has been promoted on EQ2Players, and over at 'Zam, etc., etc. Frostfell events are coming to a server near you - later this week, in fact.
For those not familiar with the brouhaha surrounding it, let me cover the crafting aspect of things. (What, you expected me to also have time to check out all the quests and stuff as well, especially on the heels of a huge expansion with lots of crafting stuff? Right, I'll get right on that, but first, let me sell you this ski slope in Lavastorm ...)
While questgivers and Frostfell offerings will be scattered all over the place, Frostfell crafting is only performed in the Frostfell Wonderland Village instances, using ingredients that can be obtained there.
Stacks of presents spawn on various snowy islands in the instance, just waiting for eager harvesters to gather their contents for use as raw materials. (Gathering skill of 20 required, each present "node" can be harvested 3 times for the special resources needed for this crafting.) 36-slot shopping bags are sold on several vendors that will only hold these Frostfell harvests - and since there are over 50 Frostfell harvests, you will likely want to make room for two shopping bags.
Two of the islands also contain crafting tables, and both have a goblin vendor standing by, selling the three special fuels needed for all of this crafting. They also sell the three Frostfell recipe books. (Artisan level 2 is required to scribe the books. Recipes are level 20 or level 30 combines (depending on the item) using various class-specific reaction arts, so you will be performing out-of-class combines for several of the items. Despite this, these should be a doable challenge even for low-level crafters.) The recipes will yield 2 on a pristine combine.
To be perfectly clear, even if the recipes are above your level, as long as you are at least a level 2 artisan, you can scribe and make these items. You may have a hard time getting a pristine combine, but there is nothing preventing you from attempting combines above your level as long as you can scribe the recipe to begin with.
These Frostfell recipes can only be created on these specific crafting tables within the Frostfell Wonderland Village instance, so they can only be crafted for the duration of the Frostfell events (December 11 - January 6, according to my sources).
Those that have been through this before likely won't need me to spell this out, but let me clarify for the rest of you.
You need lots of storage space. You will run out of room in your bags if you do much crafting. Stuff as much in the bank or house vaults as you can. Have 2 empty bag slots, if possible, for shopping bags, and lots of empty pack space. Not only are there 50-some resources to harvest that make the shopping bags mentioned above a godsend, but the fact that you have to craft in the Frostfell instance, and that most (all?) of the recipes yield 2 on pristine, means that the rest of your bag space will also fill quickly.
Harvesting tools that improve your gathering speed are also a happy thing.
Oh, right, you actually want to see the crafted stuff, don't you?
These items can be crafted in the Frostfell Wonderland Village instances from December 11, 2008 through January 6, 2009.
& Black Striped
|Decorative Purple and Black|
Striped Candy Cane
|Decorative Red and Black
Striped Candy Cane
|Decorative Red &
||Frostfell Chip Cookies
||Frostfell Shaped Cookies
|Mug of Hot
|Stuffed and Roasted Fowl
||Flambe Custard Pie
|Frostfell Baked Ham
||Pitcher of Mulled Claret
|Swaying Purple Paper
|Swaying Yellow Paper
|Big Purple Stocking
|Purple Hanging Boot
||Small Purple Stocking
(snow particle effect)
|Cool Mint Buckler**
**Click on one of the candy striped bucklers above for information an extra surprise feature!
|Festive Robes (Female Model)|
|Festive Robes (Male Model)|
Frostfell Feasts and Decorative Crafts
Frostfell Outfits You Can Make
Scholarly Pursuits for a Festive Frostfell
|Stacked gifts with blue box on top:
||Stacked gifts with red box on top
||Single Red Box